Everyone has a different gum line and amount of gum tissue. Depending on genetics, lifestyle factors, medications, and other factors, some people will have higher or lower gums than others. Different people will also have varying degrees of evenness along the gum line.
Some people who feel self-conscious about their gums consider cosmetic dentistry, using a procedure called gum contouring to adjust their gum lines cosmetically.
Gum contouring surgery is also known as gum reshaping, tissue sculpting, gingival sculpting, and gingivoplasty. This cosmetic dental procedure is used to raise, lower, or even out an uneven gum line.
While gum contouring is generally a cosmetic procedure, there are rare occasions when gum contouring surgery is a necessary treatment for gum disease.
There are two different gum contouring methods, using different procedures to achieve different results. For a gummy smile, where there is a higher gum-to-tooth ratio, a procedure that removes excess gum tissue is performed. For a receding gum line or similar concern, gum grafting is possible.
A scalpel, laser, or radiosurgery may be used in a gum contouring procedure. Local anesthesia is also used to minimize discomfort.
While there are risks involved in all dental procedures, a gum contouring procedure is a safe one. The recovery period lasts a few days to a few weeks.
Laser gum contouring or a scalpel to remove excess gum tissue is one of the gum contouring methods. This is used to raise the gums, in what is known as gum lifts, or to even out the line of the gums.
Because gums that cover most of the tooth surface area may make the teeth look small, some people choose this procedure.
The other gum contouring procedure is gum grafting, which aims to have the opposite effect. Instead of cutting and removing gum tissues away, the gum tissue is grafted onto a patient's existing gums.
Gum recession, is a condition where gum tissues pull back from teeth, often due to gum disease, and other causes can lead to a gum line that is high, showing a greater portion of the teeth. This can make teeth look longer, and may also lead to significant dental concerns. Gum recession is linked to tooth decay and tooth loss, and may also be indicative of periodontal disease, a severe and advanced stage of gum disease.
There are some benefits that patients who have gum tissues removed may notice.
Gum contouring that removes excess gum tissue will create a more proportional gum line. If you feel your teeth appear too short, you may be interested in this procedure. This procedure can also create a more even gum line.
Because of the extra tissue that is often associated with gummy smiles, food is more likely to be caught in the tissues, and bacteria can get trapped. It may be more difficult to keep these areas clean. Removing some of this extra tissue smooths out the gums and removes the areas where bacteria will thrive. This makes it easier to keep teeth clean with regular, good oral hygiene, and reduce the risks of tooth decay.
This laser treatment may alleviate pain and inflammation that results from extra gum tissue rubbing against itself. It will reduce the redness and puffiness, as well.
Adding gum tissues and lowering the line of the gums increases the contrast between gum and teeth which may make teeth look whiter.
Gum contouring with gum grafts can create a more even gum line, and make teeth more evenly sized. It can also help with the illusion of teeth crookedness that sometimes accompanies highly receded gums.
In certain cases of periodontal disease causing a severe recession that could result in tooth loss, gum contouring surgery may be medically required. Nonsurgical procedures are attempted first, however, such as antibiotics to kill the bacteria and infection, or dental cleanings to restore your gum’s health. In these rare situations, dental insurance may cover the procedure; however, when gum contouring is used for cosmetic purposes, it won't be covered by insurance.
1. What is gum contouring?
Gum contouring, also known as gum reshaping, is a cosmetic dental procedure used to raise, lower, or even out an uneven gum line. It can improve the appearance of the gums and teeth.
2. Is gum contouring a safe procedure?
Yes, gum contouring is generally a safe procedure. It can be performed using different methods such as a scalpel, laser, or radiosurgery. Local anesthesia is used to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
3. What are the benefits of removing excess gum tissue?
Removing excess gum tissue through gum contouring can create a more proportional gum line and improve the appearance of teeth. It can also prevent gum disease by eliminating areas where bacteria can thrive and make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene.
4. What is gum grafting and when is it used?
Gum grafting is a gum contouring procedure where gum tissue is grafted onto a patient's existing gums. It is used to treat gum recession, a condition where gum tissues pull back from teeth, often due to gum disease. Gum grafting can help restore a more even gum line and prevent tooth decay and tooth loss associated with gum recession.
5. Is gum contouring covered by insurance?
In most cases, gum contouring performed for cosmetic purposes is not covered by insurance. However, if gum contouring is medically necessary, such as in severe cases of gum disease, dental insurance may cover the procedure. It is best to check with your insurance provider to understand coverage options.
Wonsch Dental offers some cosmetic dentistry procedures in-office, and we will be happy to refer you to a specialist if it is determined that gum reshaping through grafts or laser removal will benefit you.
Situated at 3090 Dougall Avenue Suite 306, Windsor, ON N9E 1S4, Canada, Wonsch Dental offers various in-office cosmetic dentistry procedures. For specialized treatments like gum reshaping, we're glad to provide referrals. Still unsure about the right treatment or its cost?
Contact our Dentist in Windsor. Book your appointment today at Wonsch Dental by calling us at 519.258.6812. Your smile is our priority!